Switch brooms are NOT only used for removing ice and snow. Among their other uses:
Sweeping out the peanut shells from the cab floor
Chipping out dirt or tar from a covered over crossing
Putting out grass fires caused by careless use of fusees
Repelling hostile dogs who DON'T want you to throw that switch!
Sweeping leaves and branches off the running board after you go up that seldom-used spur
Hitting pieces of ballast pitched to you while waiting for a meet
Clearing leaves from switch points in the fall
Clearing rust and crud from inside angle bars and the web of the rail before you bolt them back together
Playing "broom guitar" instead of air guitar
As a "last resort" wheel chock when nothing else is available
As a brake club for stubborn brake wheels (Usually breaks the broom handle)
To prop the cab door open in summer
Countless other uses - the only limit is your imagination!